Security of your identity is not only important during your lifetime but also after death.  Having unmanaged online accounts poses a risk to your identity and can be stressful for your loved ones.  With the increasing amount of work and socialising that occurs online, it is prudent to have a plan on how you want your digital assets to be managed after death.

As there is currently no specific law in NSW that applies to a person’s digital assets when they die, online account providers adopt their own varying processes in dealing with a deceased person’s account.  Some providers may be prepared to share the content with the executor, next of kin or beneficiaries whilst others close the account immediately.  The differing requirements and processes of providers can be overwhelming.  It is therefore important to have a Digital Asset Plan to help guide your loved ones.

A Digital Asset Plan usually consists of:

  1. A list of your online accounts.
  2. Your username for each account.
  3. How your passwords can be accessed. For instance, whether they are stored on a “password safe” application or in a further secure location.
  4. Your wishes for your accounts i.e. memorialise, closure, deletion, etc.

It is important you keep this information in a safe and secure place to minimise the risk of identity theft or cybercrime.

Some providers enable you to nominate a legacy contact with them direct.  You can also appoint a person to liaise with those providers to manage those assets on your behalf.  This can be done by including a power in your Power of Attorney to permit your attorney to manage your digital assets during your lifetime in the event of your incapacity.  A power can also be included in your Will to permit your executor to manage your digital assets after your death.

Whilst the legislation in this area is still evolving, at Everingham Solomons we have the expertise and experience to guide you with all your estate planning needs, because Helping You is Our Business.

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